The Barbarian Paper

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Make better use of barbarians by accounting for the trigger technologies that cause changes in their appearances.

Version 1.2.

by Willliam Keenan

The Goal

The Barbarian Paper is designed to assist Civilization II scenario builders who wish to use the randomly appearing barbarians in their scenarios. By coordinating story progression with the discovery of the trigger technologies that cause changes to barbarian appearances, a great deal of challenge, depth, and atmosphere can be added to advanced scenario designs.

This paper applies the following civ2 game versions: Classic Civ2, Conflicts in Civilization, Fantastic Worlds, and Multi-Player Gold Edition. In the Test of Time environment barbarian behavior and appearance differ significantly from what is outlined in this paper.

Updates to this Paper

Version 1.0 included only the quick lookup tables and a minimum of explanatory text. The rebellion entries for Mobile Warfare and Guerrilla Warfare had errors and/or omissions in this version.

Version 1.1 corrects previous errors. The mode chart from version one has been sub-divided into six tables each with verbose, beginner oriented explanations. Also included is a outline of the Barbarian Activity option.

Version 1.11 includes additional information: brief discussion of the number of barbarians in rebel hordes and pirate vessels and an explanation of unit support for mercenaries from goody huts.

Version 1.12 includes information on Barbarian Wrath, a new found level of barbarian activity beyond Raging Hordes.

Version 1.13 includes information on the longevity of barbarian units and their behavior based on role and domain.

Version 1.14 adds new information on barbarian leaders and the formula to determine the cost to bribe barbarian units.

Version 1.2 corrected the units type that appears with Fanatics. Several new sections added; adds new information on barbarian leaders and the formula to determine the cost to bribe barbarian units and cities.

Barbarian Activity

The best advice I could give to the fledgling scenario designer is to know what level of barbarian activity you want BEFORE you create the your scenario. Once the scenario file is created there are only two ways to change this setting; hex editing, and CivTweak. If in doubt I suggest using the Villages Only option, as this is the easiest level of barbarian activity to work with.

Sl brbtechs2 brblvl.png

Table 1

Barbarian Activity Options
Technology Villages Frequency Rebel Bands Pirate Crews Leader Value
Villages Only Yes Never N/A N/A N/A
Roving Bands Yes Half Normal Small Small 50 Gold
Restless Tribes Yes Normal Medium Normal 100 Gold
Raging Hordes Yes Normal Large Normal 150 Gold
Barbarian Wrath Yes Normal Maximum Normal 200 Gold

The Villages Only setting produces barbarians units only when one of your ground units enters a square containing a minor tribe village. Villages (hereafter referred to as goody huts) produce both friendly (mercenaries) and unfriendly units (hordes). Pirates and rebels do not appear when the Villages Only option set.

With the Roving Bands setting pirates and rebel bands begin to appear, but with half the frequency of the restless tribes setting and in smaller numbers.

The Restless Tribes option is the standard setting for barbarian activity.

Raging Hordes produces the largest number of barbarians. Rebel bands of up to 39 barbarian units have been reported at this setting.

Barbarian Wrath is a level of barbarian activity that can not normally be chosen, it is only achievable through hex editing. Rebel bands number between 75 and 100 barbarian units. The number of piratical barbarian units appearing is normal however.

To eliminate all barbarian activity in your scenario choose the Villages Only option when selecting the level of barbarian activity. Then after creating the scenario file toggle the menu option Cheat> Scenario Parameters > Wipe All Goody Boxes.

Level of Difficulty

The attack strength of Barbarian units is greatly effected by the game's difficulty level. At lower levels of play the Barbarians pull thier punches while at greater difficulty levels they pack an extra wolup. Defensive values are not effected.

Level of Difficulty
Level of Difficulty Barbarian Attack Strength
Chieftain 25%
Warlord 50%
Prince 75%
King 100%
Emperor 125%
Deity 150%

Controlling the Huts

Goody huts will produce friendly units (hereafter referred to as mercenaries) that join the player's standing army and unfriendly units (hereafter referred to as hordes) that surround and attack the player's discovering unit.

The tables below are listed in order of precedent with technologies at the bottom of the table having precedent over technologies listed above them. Goody huts will always produce units of the highest level of precedence. For example, if Chivalry is discovered after Monotheism then goody huts will continue to produce Crusader mercenary units since crusaders have a higher level of precedence then knights.

At any given point in the game goody huts will produce a minimum of two types of units. I have broken these varieties up into two logical groups (A and B). Mercenary units will come from group A about 67% of the time and from group B 33%.

Mercenary units obtained from goody huts will be supported by the city closest to the hut. Should the closest city not be yours then the unit will have support of None.

Table for Group A is broken up into three columns. Units from Group A may come from any of the three columns. The probability of a unit coming from any of the three columns is equal.

Table 2

Goody Huts - Mercenary Units - Group A
Technology Unit Slots
None Horsemen Chariot Horsemen
Polytheism (PT) Horsemen Chariot Elephant
Chivalry (Chi) Knights Knights Knights
Monotheism (MT) Crusaders Crusaders Crusaders
Leadership (Ldr) Dragoons Dragoons Dragoons
Conscription (Csc) Riflemen Riflemen Riflemen

Tip: Assigning Conscription (Csc) to one or more civilizations at the beginning of the scenario will minimize the number of units slots used by barbarian units.

All the technologies listed on Table 3 are required to produce unit listed to the right of it. For example, if Gunpowder is discovered prior to Iron Working then huts will continue to produce Archers until Iron Working is discovered at which time Musketeers will be produced skipping Legions altogether.

Table 3

Goody Huts - Mercenary Units - Group B
Technologies Unit Slots
None Archers
Iron Working (Iro) Legions
Gunpowder (Gun)1 Musketeers
Guerrilla Warfare (Gue)1 Fanatics
1Also requires technologies listed prior to it, e.g. musketeer mercenaries are produced only if Iro and Gun are both discovered.

Tip: The removal of Iron Working (Iro) from the technology tree will minimize the number of unit slots used by barbarian units.

Hostile barbarian hordes appear in the squares surrounding the goody hut and can number from one unit up to as many as eight units. The types of units appearing depend on the discovery of key technologies and the type of terrain the barbarian unit appears in.

Table 4

Goody Huts - Barbarian Hordes
Technology Non-Mountain Mountain
None Horsemen Legions
Metallurgy (Met) Knights Musketeers
Guerrilla Warfare (Gue) Partisans Fanatics

Tip: Assigning Guerrilla Warfare (Gue) to one or more civilizations at the beginning of the scenario will minimize the number of units slots used by barbarian units.

The Rebellion

Beginning on game turn sixteen rebels bands begin to appear in wilderness areas on the periphery of settled regions. The owner of the closest city will receive a warning message when they appear.

Rebel bands start off with two units then grow in size over time. Although the exact formula for calculating the number of rebel units comprising a band is unknown we do know that it is tied to the game turn; the greater the game turn the more barbarians appear. The number appearing is also influenced by technological discovery; advances that trigger a change in the barbarian type, like gunpowder for example, reset the number of units appearing back to two again.

The first four units of the band will be of the primary unit type. The next four will be of the secondary unit type. Units nine through twelve will be primary; thirteen though sixteen will be secondary, etc.

There is an equal probability of a band being of Group A or Group B with the exception of the Gue category. Fanatics will appear in densely populated areas and Partisans in more remote areas.

Table 5

The Rebels
Technology Group A Group B
Primary Secondary Primary Secondary
None Horsemen Chariots Chariots Horsemen
Gunpowder (Gun) Elephants Archers Elephants Archers
Industrialization (Ind)1 Musketeers Cannon Musketeers Cannon
Mobile Warfare (Mob)1 Riflemen Artillery Riflemen Artillery
Guerrilla Warfare (Gue)1 Partisans Cavalry Fanatics Cavalry
1Also requires all technologies listed prior, e.g. Mob, Ind, Gun needed to produce Riflemen rebels.


Sea-borne barbarians begin to appear on game turn sixteen. These groups will be comprised of one vessel, a leader, and some number of regular pirate units from Table 6 below. These pirate units will number two plus one for every full one hundred game turns elapsed. Thus, if you are on game turn 350 then each pirate ships will have five piratical units plus one leader. The chance of these units being from Group A or Group B is equal.

Pirates appear in a random ocean square and will continue to roam the seas (or pond) until they find a suitable landing site. What pirates consider suitable is any land square within six squares of any city (including barbarian cities). The owner of the closest city will receive message warning of their landing.

After all its units have disembarked the Barbarian vessel will vanish, if the vessel has a hold (carrying capacity) greater then zero defined in the RULES.TXT file.

Table 6

Technology Group A Group B
None Archers Archers
Iron Working (Iro) Legions Legions
Chivalry (Chi) Knights Crusaders
Tactics (Tac) Dragoons Dragoons
Mobile Warfare (Mob)1 None None
1The discovery of Mobile Warfare ends piracy.

Table 7

Pirate Vessels
Technology Vessel
None Trireme
Navigation (Nav) Caravel
Magnetism (Mag) Frigate

Tip: Assigning Mobile Warfare to one or more civilizations at the beginning of the game prevents piratical units from ever appearing.

Bribing Barbarian Units

The cost to bribe a barbarian unit is the same as the cost to bribe any unit. The reason Barbarians are so much cheaper is due to their lack of a capital (palace improvement) and an empty treasury.

(37.25 / Distance + 2) * (1 + Treasury / 750) * Shields = Cost to Bribe

Distance refers to the distance from the capital. Normally barbarians have no capital so Distance is equal to 16. However, if the bribing civ operates under a communist government the Distance reduced to 10. On average, it is 40% more expensive for a communist civilization to bribe barbarian units.

Treasury is the amount of gold in the Barbarian Treasury. Normally this is zero, but it can be modified by hex editing or using the CivTweak utility.

Shields is the number of shields required to build the unit.

Double the Cost to Bribe if the unit is a settler type (role=5).

Immunity to Bribery is granted to any civilization, including the Barbarians, that operate under a Democratic government.

Bribing Barbarian Cities

Judging from the low cost to incite a revolt in a Barbarian city one would naturally assume that the game uses a different formula for the Barbarians the it does for the seven "real" civilizations. The difference is due to the Barbarians lack of gold in their treasury and the absence of a capital (the palace improvement) not a unique formula. The complete formula, in all its glorious complexity, is covered in the city bribery paper - [Inciting a Revolt]. A truncated version of that formula is presented below.

Cost to Incite Revolt = City Size * 52.63 (or 76.92)

When the bribing civilization operates under Communism multiply by 76.92, all other government types use 52.63 instead. Round up in both cases.

The Cost to Incite Revolt is modified by following (these modifiers are cumulative):

  • A Spy incites revolts at 5/6 the price of a diplomat.
  • A Veteran Spy incites revolts at 2/3 the price of a diplomat.
  • Disorder in the revolting city reduces the price by 1/2.
  • No Units in the revolting city also reduces the price by 1/2.
  • The 'Previous Owner of a city can incite a revolt at 1/2 price.

Barbarians at the Gate

At one time or another we've all received the "Barbarian Threat" - "Pay up or we Sack your City...Bwahaha!". Ever wonder why sometimes you get "the Threat" while other times the Barbarians just conquer your city? Gold is the key.

Barbarians never demand tribute from a city with defenders. The "threat" will only occur after they kill the last defender and IF they have at least one unit with movement points.

The minimum amount of gold the barbarians will demand is equal to the City Size * 25. But, not less then fifty in any case.

  • They simply conquer the city if less than the minimum demanded gold there is in the treasury.
  • The Barbarians will demand the minimum amount if your treasury has at least equal to minimum demanded gold and less then twice the minimum.
  • Half of the treasury will be demanded iof nations with more than twice the minimum demanded gold. Rounded fractions down. If the treasury contains 203 gold, they'll ask for 101.

Once paid, the threatening Barbarians vanish - the whole group.

The Eighth Civilization

Just because the Barbarians do not have an entry in the @LEADERS section of the RULES.TXT does not prevent a scenario designer from manipulating all the familiar trappings of a tribe.

Aspect Default Value Where to make the change.
Leader Name Attila 19th item in the LABELS.TXT file
Leader Title King Monarchy Titles in the RULES.TXT. This is true no matter what government the Barbarians operate under.
Tribe Noun Barbarian 18th item in the LABELS.TXT file
Tribe Adjective Barbarians 17th item in the LABELS.TXT file
City Style Classical The first entry in the @LEADERS section of the RULES.TXT determines the Barbarian City Style. Typically the first entry is the Romans and the City Style is Classical.
Flag Style Red Flag First flag set in the CITIES.BMP file.
Tribe Colors Red Determined by the pixel hot spots in the CITIES.BMP file.
Government Despotism Save Game (.SAV) file; See a hex editing tip or CivTweak.
Treasury Zero The amount of gold in the Barbarian Treasury is located in Save Game (.SAV) file; See a hex editing tip or CivTweak. Barbarians pay no support on their improvements, nor do they accumulate surplus tax revenue.4/03/2011

Text Messages Relating to Barbarians

During the game various barbarian activities can cause messages to appear. Listed below are those messages. Each is located in the GAME.TXT file. Included with each is the reason why they occur and how to modify them.

Barbarian Surprise

This message appears when you open a goody hut and barbarians pour out.

   You have unleashed a horde of barbarians!

Leader Captured!

The simple explanation for this message is that it is displayed when a barbarian leader is killed. However, the truth is that whenever a barbarian unit with a role of 5, 6, 7 is killed this message is displayed. This is true even when the unit is not from the diplomat slot.

   @title=Defense Minister
   Barbarian leader captured! %NUMBER0 gold ransom paid.

%NUMBER0 is determine by the level of Barbarian Activity in the game. Along with this message a picture of the barbarian leader unit is displayed even if the unit killed that triggered the message was not a barbarian leader.

Barbarian Landing

When a piratical group of barbarians disembark from their vessel this message appears to the civilization who owns a city closest to the landing spot (or perhaps to the vessel; not sure).

   @title=Defense Minister
   Barbarian raiding party lands near %STRING0. Citizens are alarmed.

%STRING0 is the name of the closest city.

Barbarian Rebellion

This message is triggered when a barbarian Rebellion occurs.

   @title=Traveller's Report
   %STRING0 near %STRING1!

%STRING1 is the name of the closest city.

%STRING0 comes from the LABELS.TXT file. Specifically, one of the five lines from the following table.

LABELS.TXT entry Unit Slots Relevant Tech
Barbarian Uprising Horsemen and Chariot None
Major barbarian horde Used for large rebellions, 30 plus units (est.)
Native unrest Elephant and Archer Gunpowder (Gun)
Peasant revolt Musketeer and Cannon Industrialization (Ind)
Guerrilla uprising Partisans and Cavalry Guerrilla Warfare (Gue)
Religious fanatics in arms Fanatics and Cavalry Guerrilla Warfare (Gue)

The Barbarian Threat

This is the message you get when a barbarian unit is about to capture your city.

   @title=Defense Minister
   The leader of the Barbarian %STRING0 has sent us a message: "We shall mercilessly sack the city of %STRING1 unless you pay us %NUMBER0 gold at once!"
   "Do your worst!"
   Pay %NUMBER0 gold.

%NUMBER is the about of gold demanded.

%STRING1 is the name of the city.

%STRING0 is a bit complex. It is a tribe name selected from the @BARBARIANS section of the CITY.TXT file. The choice of Barbarian tribe name appears to be random according to Kull. He wrote:

A test involving 10 different cities generated threats from 9 different tribes. The Burgundians threatened my capital, and then it was Avars, Frisians, Vandals, Huns, etc. threatening the other cities. There was no discernible pattern. First came the Burgundians (9th on the city.txt list), followed by the Avars (10th), Frisians (15th), Vandals (11th), Huns (1st), Ostrogoths (3rd), etc. The first time a city is threatened, the choice of Barbarian tribe appears to be random. However, the SAME tribe will ALWAYS threaten the same city. Thus the capital was always threatened by the Burgundians.

Barbarian Leaders

One Barbarian leader appears with each band of rebels and pirates. The Barbarian leader has the stats, role, and name of the unit described in the diplomat slot of the RULES.TXT but uses the last graphic image in UNITS.BMP. If a Barbarian leader is bribed it becomes a diplomat or whatever unit is in the Diplomat slot in the RULES.TXT

A clever designer can use this information to change the leader unit into any other type of units he wishes. For example, it could be changed into an aggressive, attacking stealth bomber by manipulating the statistics in the diplomat slot of the RULES.TXT. If the role assigned to the Barbarian Leader is 5, 6, or 7 the unit will behave normally; run way when alone, attempt to stack with other barbarian units, and yield gold when killed. If given a role of 0 through 4 the leader will not yield any gold.

The Quick Lookup Charts

Table 8

Technology Cross Reference
Technology Role Unit Units Replaced
None Horde Legion
None Horde Horsemen
None Mercenary Archer
None Mercenary Horsemen
None Mercenary Chariot
None Pirate Archer
None Rebel Horsemen
None Rebel Chariot
Chivalry Mercenary Knights Horsemen, Chariots, Elephant
Chivalry Pirate Crusaders Archer, Legion
Chivalry Pirate Knights Archer, Legion
Conscription Mercenary Riflemen Horsemen, Chariot, Elephant, Knight, Crusader, Dragoons
Guerrilla Warfare Horde Partisans Horsemen, Calvary
Guerrilla Warfare Horde Fanatics Legion, Riflemen
Guerrilla Warfare1 Mercenary Fanatics Musketeer
Guerrilla Warfare2 Rebel Calvary Artillery
Guerrilla Warfare2 Rebel Fanatics Riflemen
Guerrilla Warfare2 Rebel Partisans Riflemen
Gunpowder1 Mercenary Musketeer Legion
Gunpowder2 Rebel Archer Chariots
Gunpowder2 Rebel Elephant Horsemen
Industrialization2 Rebel Cannon Archers
Industrialization2 Rebel Musketeer Horsemen, Chariots, Elephant
Iron Working Pirate Legion Archer
Iron Working Mercenary Legion Archer
Leadership Mercenary Dragoon Horsemen, Chariot, Elephant, Knight, Crusader
Magnetism Pirate Frigate Trireme, Caravel
Metallurgy Horde Knights Horsemen
Metallurgy Horde Musketeer Legion
Mobile Warfare Pirate All types
Mobile Warfare2 Rebel Artillery Cannon
Mobile Warfare2 Rebel Riflemen Musketeers
Monotheism Mercenary Crusaders Horsemen, Chariot, Knight, Elephant
Navigation Pirate Caravel Trireme
Polytheism Mercenary Elephant
Tactics Pirate Dragoon Archer, Legion, Knight, Crusader
1 Has additional technology prerequisites. See Table 3 : Goody Huts - Mercenary Units - Group B

2 Has additional technology prerequisites. See Table 5 : The Rebels

Table 9

Unit Roles as Barbarians and Trigger Technology
Unit Rebel Pirate Horde Mercenary
Archer Gunpowder2 Default N/A Default
Artillery Mobile Warfare2 N/A N/A N/A
Calvary Guerrilla Warfare2 N/A N/A N/A
Cannon Industrialization2 N/A N/A N/A
Caravel N/A Navigation N/A N/A
Chariot Default N/A N/A Default
Crusaders N/A Chivalry N/A Monotheism
Dragoon N/A Tactics N/A Leadership
Elephant Gunpowder2 N/A N/A Polytheism
Fanatics Guerrilla Warfare2 N/A Guerrilla Warfare Guerrilla Warfare1
Frigate N/A Magnetism N/A N/A
Horsemen Default N/A Default Default
Knights N/A Chivalry Metallurgy Chivalry
Legion N/A Iron Working Default Iron Working
Musketeer Industrialization2 N/A Metallurgy Gunpowder1
Partisans Guerrilla Warfare2 N/A Guerrilla Warfare N/A
Riflemen Mobile Warfare2 N/A N/A Conscription
Trireme N/A Default N/A N/A
1 Has additional technology prerequisites. See Table 3 : Goody Huts - Mercenary Units - Group B

2 Has additional technology prerequisites. See Table 5 : The Rebels


Table Index